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From Rivals to Co-Parents

The Man I Was:

“You’ve been served!” I could only imagine the look on my soon-to-be ex-wife’s face when the processor served her divorce papers at work, that Spring day in 1995. The anticipation excited me while waiting for the confirmation that she’d been served. But I hadn’t always been this mean. In fact, I surprised myself in being capable of such hostility, but a failed marriage with custody issues over our daughter brought out the worse in me. My self-righteous attitude made an already complicated matter messy for everyone involved.

The Backstory:

To get the whole picture you’ll need to return with me to 1991 when we found out that she was pregnant. Usually, a pregnancy brings couples together as they celebrate the new life being created. For us, it was an unplanned, and it set in. motion a series of events that would shape our lives for the next 30 years.

I was living in New York City pursuing my career as an actor/model, when I found out my girlfriend in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was pregnant. We discussed our options and decided to keep the child—I’d put my career on hold and return to Virginia. Within a few months we decided to get married and give this whole “starting a family’ thing a shot. All at once, we were navigating the foreign waters of marriage, new careers, and parenting.

I must confess we really believed we could make it work. After maternity leave, my wife returned to work and I became a stay-at-home dad, while working nights waiting tables. It wasn’t a glamorous life (like the one I’d left behind), but being a dad made it all worth it.

Looking back, I retain a lot of great memories. Just the other night, at my daughter, Jessica’s apartment, her mom and I reminisced through a whole bin of photos from those early years and savored the memories.

Continue Reading The Full Feature @ The Hallelujah House

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